Resealing my center seam - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
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Resealing my center seam

Help, i sooooo need some advice!!!!!! I have a 1980 17c bigfoot trailer. The shell is two halves joined in the middle and i seem to have a little leak along that seam so i am thinking when i get the "old girl" out from undercover this spring i should reseal that entire seam that runs right around the entire trailer. It is like two halves of an egg joined in the middle.

I have never caulked anything more than my bathtub so does anyone have any advice on caulking fiberglass? Do i tape a line first and then caulk , do i pull the tape right after i caulk or let the caulk dry and is there a special caulk for fiberglass????

Any advice would be very much appreciated. Many thanks, roidon lamb, vancouver canada
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
Your leak could be coming from anywhere, not necessarily your seam. Chances are it is coming from multiple locations. I have a 17 ft. Boler that is presently gutted and I have found numerous places where water has slowly "wicked" in over the years. Most of the leaks are located wherever screws were driven through the fibreglass shell and missed their backing plate. Chances are things are similar with the Bigfoots.

As ripping your entire interior out is probably not high on your list of options I'd suggest trying to access some common points where screws have been driven through. ie: around your running/signal lights, around your ceiling vent, around your windows etc., and then attempting to re-seal these points , from either the interior or exterior, using fibreglass resin and "chop" fibre cloth.

As to your seam, if it is similar to the seam on the Bolers, you could fill the gap between the two halves with Bondo Hair.

3M 762 Bondo-Hair Long Strand Fiberglass Reinforced Filler - Quart

Bondo® Polyester Fiberglass Resin (401) - Ace Hardware


Bondo(R) Fiberglass Mat, 487, 32 sq ft, 6 per case

Take a look at this video of the disassembly of my 17 ft. Boler.

YouTube - dismantling Interior part 1.wmv


At 29 seconds in you can see the damage caused by water seeping in through the screw holes for years. As well, at 6:04 into the video you can see where a whole row of screws missed their "mark" allowing water to seep in.
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:26 AM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Thirty-one year old trailer? First thing I'd do is check with weep holes in the windows and second place is the windows seals to body. If necessary, pull and reinstall with butyl. Move from simplest to most extreme. Eventually all caulking fails. Time to check all vents too. Typically a maintenance issue IMHO.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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Name: Reid
Trailer: 1979 Trillium 4500
Oregon
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Our "new" trillium seemed to have leaks every where. When I replaced and sealed w/ Dicor lap sealant the roof vent every thing dried up. Since the old girl is 33 years old I also pulled and resealed w/ butyl tape all the windows. I thought the center seam was the culprit but without any attention to it there are now no leaks and our Oregon "spring" has provided lots of tests. Good luck. I would start w/ the easy stuff first-Like Donna says check window weep holes etc. and work your way through the more difficult ones.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Thirty-one year old trailer? First thing I'd do is check with weep holes in the windows and second place is the windows seals to body. If necessary, pull and reinstall with butyl. Move from simplest to most extreme. Eventually all caulking fails. Time to check all vents too. Typically a maintenance issue IMHO.

Many thanks-any ideas where I resource info on pulling windows and reinstalling with butyl tape. R
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
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Originally Posted by ROIDON L View Post
Many thanks-any ideas where I resource info on pulling windows and reinstalling with butyl tape. R
Try Randy's "My Trillium Herd" thread in the mods forum at this site.
He's a trailer-re-do MACHINE!

Francesca
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